We can always tell what winter will be like here on Amelia Island by how much fur Boomer the carriage horse grows as winter approaches. This year he would indicate a cold winter with earlier and longer than normal growth. Cold doesn’t seem to affect him a lot, although we have had to move or cancel a couple of rides due to high winds and cold temps. in December. Boomer dresses up for Christmas, weddings, or any event he contributes to depending upon the occasion and the mood of his owner/mother Cindy. Attached are some pictures of recent guests on carriage rides…enjoy!
Archive for the ‘Carriage Rides’ Category
Its been a very busy May at the Williams House with Shrimp fest starting out the month, several weddings, and lots of wonderful guests enjoying the weather before it gets too hot. I got a little behind on putting carriage rides on the blog, so here’s a catch up for all those guests that enjoyed meeting Boomer and hearing tales of the Island’s history, seeing historic homes and ejoying a nice ride on our beautiful streets. Enjoy!
Even though the weather has been cooler than normal, guests have been able to get in some carriage rides with the famous Boomer and his owner Cindy. Whether it is ghost stories, history of the Island, or knowledge of the many historic homes and earlier figures in the Island’s history, Cindy is ready to educate. Boomer continues to look for us as soon as he pulls up to the Williams House and generally won’t go until we bring treats. He loves all kinds, but chocolate chip cookies and peppermints are his favorites.
This is our fifth year at the Williams House and living in Florida and it is definitely the coldest winter we have experienced. We seem to be averaging 8-10 degrees below normal and aren’t getting many days in the upper sixties we normally look forward to. Of course I realize daily temps in the mid fifties and no snow is relatively nice compared to what the rest of the states have expereinced, but it is still cool to us. Regardless, guests continue to enjoy Amelia Island, carriage rides, the museum, Fort Clinch and great restaurants…they just get indoors a little more quickly than normal. While in past years we have begun to see Azaleas blooming by mid-February, it looks like we are going to be a little later this year. However, off-setting that loss is the continued strong blooming season for Camillias which seem to prefer the cooler weather. We had a full house for three days over Valentine’s weekend and fortunately the weather cooperated and got up to the high fifties and no rain to spoil the fun!
The current forecast has us getting back to normal mid sixties temps this weekend and we are ready for it to happen! The annual Concours de Elegance car show is just weeks away and we are typically seeing 70 degree weather by then.
Even though January has been a bit cooler for both Florida and the country this year, we were able to squeeze in enough good days for a couple of carriage rides. We’re happy to see the teperatures return to our normal 60-68 degrees this past week, and hope the worst of winter has been experienced. Since azaleas bloom here in February, we are hopeful the signs of spring are just around the corner. Boomer has grown a long woolly coat in honor of cool weather, so he looks a bit like a man that hasn’t shaved in a few weeks.
Williams House guests continue to enjoy historic carriage rides thru downtown Fernandina Beach as well as Boomer the famous and largest carriage horse in NE Florida. The beautiful tree draped streets, numerous historic homes, ghost stories and local history make for an informative and romantic ride. Attached are pictures from our November carriage rides – Enjoy! (more…)
Guests at the Williams House continue to discover the enjoyable historic carriage tours that aquaint them with the town’s history, stories about early inhabitants and views of the many beautiful victorian homes in the 10 block historic district.
Jack and Hope mentioned in our earlier wedding blog enjoyed a carriage ride and escort to their dinner at Beech Street Grill. Boomer is a great way to travel and we are always sure to feed him well before your travels. Two other couples took tours this past weekend and frankly, we have yet to meet a guest who hasn’t enjoyed the tour. That’s a 100% satisfaction rating so far after four years and hundreds of rides! So when you come visiting, plan on a fun and interesting carriage ride of our beautiful and historic town.
We got a little behind on posting carriage ride pictures so we decided to just post a medley of all the guests since our last posting. See if you can find yourself!
It’s summertime on Amelia Island but that doesn’t interfere with carriage rides in the cooler evenings. Mellissa and Alexis recently enjoyed a carriage ride as part of a “Girls Getaway” package and had a great time meeting Boomer and getting filled in on all the Island and historic home history from Cindy, Boomer’s Mom. Steven and Dawn South also enjoyed a tour through wonderful downtown Fernandina Beach with the single Boomer horse powered carriage. The tours answer many questions guests have about the Island and town’s history as well as who built many of the beautiful Victorian style homes they see in the downtown area.
We have been recording guest carriage rides on our blog for several months, but wanted to share a little more about the carriage company history and what goes on during the rides. Amelia Island Carriages is owned and operated by husband and wife team Cyndi and Jeff Myers. Cyndi’s stepfather Bob Zaleski also drives one of the carriages as well as Nancy Noble who used to drive show carriages.. The company, Amelia Island Carriages, was started in August 2004 when Jeff retired from the marines and they moved to Amelia Island. Cyndi had worked in and around horses most of her life and had her pony Taca with a cart as a child. Candy was her horse when they were married and Jeff got both a bride and a horse. She later drove carriages in Kansas for a wildlife ranch, then in Beaufort, SC and also managed a carriage company in Palm Beach. It was instant love for the history of Amelia Island and especially the historic district of Fernandina Beach and Cyndi did a lot of research on old homes and the history of the Island before offering tours. Where there existed confusing or conflicting stories, she approached homeowners and residents and searched records in an effort to try and get the true story to pass on to visitors. Cyndi began with two carriages and two experienced horses, and Bob joined her on the Island in February 2005. Current horses include Boomer, Jazz and Sarge. Boomer is a Percheron, a French draft horse and is 13 years old. He was logging for the Amish in Ohio when Cyndi purchased him. The Percheron’s were used by the French both as draft, or work horses, and also in war as a sort of early version of tanks. Standing 19 hands at the shoulder, Boomer would definitely be a formidable adversary!Sarge is 11 and is also a Percheron from the Amish in Ohio. He came along in April of 2007. And finally Jazz, a Belgian draft horse is 10 and joined the team in July 2008. They are all young since draft horses tend to live 30-35 years versus 20 or so for regular horses. The Amish raise horses, use them in their own farming and logging and then sell them as newer, younger horses mature.
Compared to the work done on farms or in logging, the carriage tours are light duty. In summertime, they are never brought out until early evening and they are rotated with days off to make sure they stay big, healthy and happy. They are boarded on the Island with lots of room to roam and pasture. The private tours that start at the Williams House are 50 minutes and provide drive by history lessons at all the major historic homes and buildings. It also includes a few ghost stories (some observed by Cyndi and Bob) and of course “snack stops” forthe horses. Boomer is also a big fan of the ice cream store and anyone interested in getting near him with a cone! All the horses have unique personalities but most are gradually influenced by Boomer’s insatiable appetite into eating virtually everything put near the mouth. We have fed Boomer tacos, lasagne, carrots, apples, wedding cake, bananas, cookies, peppermints, …..well you get the picutre! Cyndi also provides carriages for weddings, parties and birthdays. We have used Boomer for numerous weddings and you can see him dressed for the occasion on earlier blogs.